A Comprehensive Guide for Expats Moving to Melbourne

Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne, home to one of Australia’s most vibrant and active arts scenes, a passionate sports culture and a great quality of life,  is one of the best places for expats to live Down Under. 

Melbourne, the capital  of the South East Australian state of Victoria,  is considered the cultural capital of Australia, with many museums, art galleries, theaters and music venues providing access to a rich and varied cultural experience. A multicultural expat population – 35.7% of locals are foreign – fuels the global culinary scene, and the city offers many international dishes that appeal to a variety of  tastes.   

Fun and activities aside, Melbourne’s strong economy and job opportunities make it an ideal location for overseas job seekers. The city has a strong job market in several different sectors, including technology, finance, healthcare and education, making it relatively easy for foreigners to find suitable work.

Australian work visas:   

If you plan to move to Melbourne long-term, you will need a valid visa that allows you to  work and live legally. Australia offers a variety of  visas for different immigration needs, from  short-term working holiday visas to work and business visas for skilled workers and entrepreneurs. Visas  are also available for study and training.  

The  visa you need depends on your circumstances, such as what kind of work you do in Melbourne and how long you plan to stay there. Some also require  you to be sponsored by an Australian company or employer.  Newland Chase can help you find out what visa you need to move to Melbourne and navigate the application process. Contact us today for more information.

Cost of living in Melbourne   

Melbourne is the most expensive city in Australia with a high cost of living. The main culprit is housing prices, although they are  still much more affordable than in Sydney. Rents and living costs are more expensive in the city center and prices decrease the further you go to the suburbs. The average weekly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is A$377, compared to A$320 outside the city center. 

One important difference for expats looking to rent in Melbourne is that rental rates are quoted weekly rather than monthly. Although housing prices and the general cost of living are high in Melbourne, expats should remember that Australia’s high wages help offset the higher cost of living. According to Forbes, the average annual income in Melbourne is 75,000 Australian dollars.  

To give you a rough idea of ​​what to expect, here’s a quick summary of the average monthly cost of essential goods in Melbourne.

  • Rent for a one-bedroom apartment: AUD 1,387   
  • Median home asking price: $1.02 million  
  • Cost of living for a family of four: $6,854 (not including rent)   
  • cost of living for one person: $2,066 (without rent)   
  • Internet: $87 per month   
  • Utilities (gas, water, electricity): $312   
  • Public transport: $200 (monthly ticket)   
  • Meal bill: $430 (per person)

Best Melbourne neighborhoods for expats  

This cosmopolitan city has hundreds of suburbs and neighborhoods to choose from, from modern and trendy neighborhoods to quiet suburbs and peaceful parks. Here are some of the most popular areas for expats.   

Best for young professionals  

South Yarra:  

This affluent and cosmopolitan suburb is known for its trendy cafes, restaurants and  shops on Chapel Street. It is close to the Central Business District (CBD) and offers a lively nightlife. Expats often choose South Yarra for its accessibility, high-end accommodation options and proximity to the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens.  


Packed with beer gardens, multicultural eateries, live music venues and great shops, downtown Brunswick  is sure to appeal to young couples and professionals looking for an alternative, counter-culture lifestyle in the heart of the city.